In The News

Salvage logging can reduce fuel availability for decades after a forest fire, study finds

In spite of the efforts of one talking bear, forest fires happen — pretty frequently, too, with between 60,000 and 80,000 occurring each year in the U.S. Ecologists and foresters recognize that the occasional conflagration carries certain benefits, including improved soil nutrients and growth control. Logging companies, however, tend to see their profits going up in smoke, and often rush to salvage any surviving timber from the charred area. Post-fire logging, known also as salvage logging, is known to impact erosion and runoff rates in some areas. But could the practice also affect the susceptibility of burnt forests to future fires? Researchers with the U.S.

Read More

Warm ocean water gateways add to Antarctic glacier melt

Scientists at the University of Texas have found seafloor gateways that may be allowing warm ocean water to flow underneath a prominent Antarctic glacier, according to a release from the school. The discovery adds a new contributor to ice melt on the continent. The gateways appear to flow beneath the Totten Glacier, one of Antarctica’s most rapidly thinning glaciers. The amount of ice it holds, scientists say, could raise the global sea level by 11 feet if melted. “Now we know the ocean is melting ice in an area of the glacier that we thought was totally cut off before,” said Jamin Greenbaum, a doctoral candidate at the university’s Institute for Geophysics, in a statement. “Knowing this will improve predictions of ice melt and the timing of future glacier retreat.

Read More

Citizen science finding solutions to Great Lakes issues

There are many issues facing the Great Lakes, and citizen science is having a hand in solving them, according to a release from the Michigan State University Extension . The organization makes the claim following a meeting of its Northeast Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative. The meeting brought together educators that lead citizen science programs involving students around the state. The goal was to share experiences and project ideas to help bring Great Lakes science alive for those participating. Some of the projects presented included a program that tracks the migration of monarch butterflies; another that helps keep Lake Huron beaches clean; and one that teaches about the Thunder Bay Watershed while they collect data on its issues.

Read More